Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married……

I mentioned a while back how I was asked to make a friends wedding cake and it seemed like my friend’s wedding was aaaaages away, well those months have flown by and the wedding has arrived. As I’ve got previous posts on these recipes I won’t be going into as much detail with the baking process this time. I got the lime and coconut cake recipe from http://www.bbcgoodfood.com, the red velvet cake from the Jamie Oliver website and the chocolate biscuit cake from a friend that I adapted a little. I used http://www.cakebaker.co.uk/baking-tin-size-conversion-calculator.html to convert the ingredients from the original cake tin to what I wanted. I had three fresh cakes to make, a few things waiting in the post that I had ordered but I had a plan.

 

So I began with making the chocolate biscuit cake (30cm, round tin) and I went to the local cash and carry to buy an obscene amount of Crunchies, I felt like I was opening up my own confectionery. Armed with my Crunchies and the load of chocolate and biscuits from Supervalu I got cracking on the baking. I put 4 tins of condensed milk, 400g of butter, 540g of Lindt 70% cooking chocolate and 450g of Scotsbar milk cooking chocolate in a bowl over a bain-marie, I was beginning to think I may have overloaded the poor bowl but the ingredients eventually began to melt.

 

While I was waiting for the chocolate to melt I chopped up up 1kg 170g of crunchies,  and crushed 500g of ginger nut biscuits and 300g of rich tea biscuits. I mixed them all up in a HUGE bowl and lined the tin with three layers of clingfilm.

 

I poured the gooey chocolatey goodness into the biscuit ingredients and began to stir, it was quite the workout for the arms but I eventually covered every piece of biscuit and crunchie with chocolate, woohoo. I just about managed to lift the bowl and spooned the mix into the tin, smoothed it out, covered it over with the overlapping clingfilm and popped it into the fridge to chill for two days.

 

The next day I began baking the two sponges. I greased and lined the inside and outside of the tins. I started making the red velvet cake (16cm round tin), I sifted my dry ingredients and then went about whisking the granulated sugar and vegetable oil when I suddenly realised I needed golden granulated sugar so after a quick spin to the shop I was back to baking again.

 

Once the sugar and oil was whisked up I added in the egg, red food colouring and vanilla extract and whisked them all together.

 

I put in a third of the dry ingredients, whisked, followed by half of the buttermilk and coffee mixture.

 

I beat in half the remaining flour, poured the white wine vinegar into the coffee mix and poured the remainder into the bowl, mixed it up and then folded in the remaining dry ingredients and gave them all one final whisk and poured them into the prepared tin. At this point I noticed that the very liquidy mix had come up the other side of the paper, so I poured it back into the bowl and changed the parchment paper and very carefully poured the mix back in again with success, happy days. The cake baked in the oven for around 45 mins at 180C.

 

Once baked I let the cake cool for a bit before turning it onto a wire rack to cool completely. Later that day I covered it with parchment paper and clingfilm and left it in the fridge over night.

 

The final cake that I baked was the lime and coconut cake (23cm round tin). I creamed the butter and sugar, shredding the creamed coconut while I waited and I mixed in the eggs with a spatula.

 

Next I stirred in the creamed coconut and milk, and I sifted the self-raising flour in and stirred everything together. I spooned the mixture into the tin and it was at this point that I realised I’d forgotten to put in the baking powder, duh, but after a quick panic call to a fellow baking friend I was reassured that it would be fine. So off it went into the oven at 190C for 50 minutes with my crossed fingers, ha ha.

 

Thankfully it was grand and once I took it out I let it sit for a while in the tin, then turned it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Similar to the previous sponge cake I wrapped it up and popped it into the fridge for the night.

Icing, covering and dowelling the cakes

The next day, the day before the wedding, I started icing and covering the cakes. The first thing I did was cover the base with fondant. I used Couture luxury artisan sugarpaste, which I ordered online as my usual shop Decobake closed a few weeks ago unfortunately.

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I kneaded the icing and rolled it out on my plastic board with my plastic rolling pin, once it was at the right measurement I covered the board with a little water and covered it with the icing. I smoothed it out with the cake smoother.

 

Next I tackled the massive slab of chocolate that was the chocolate biscuit cake, a chocoholics delight, yum. It came out of the tin very easily, just slid down onto the tray. I popped it onto my turntable, you know I mean business when the turntable comes out, haha. I cheated a tad with this cake and I used Betty Crocker’s vanilla buttercream to cover the cake, if you haven’t tried this you should go out and buy some now, although be warned, it’s soooo addictive.

 

I kneaded the icing and rolled out enough to cover the cake, this was the trickiest cake to cover as it was such a large amount of icing that I was turning over after each roll and it kept tearing. Eventually, after 4 tries it worked with me and I covered the cake, carefully placed it onto the base and wrapped the silver ribbon around it, securing it with a little little purple pin. One cake down, two to go, whoop.

 

I made the lime and coconut icing next by melting the shredded creamed coconut, lime zest and juice in the microwave for 30 seconds. I creamed the butter and icing sugar (I use 1:2 ratio for my icing unlike the BBCGoodFood recipe) for about 10 minutes and then mixed in the melted lime and coconut mix. I put it into the fridge to firm up a bit.

 

Using the cake cutter, that I would be completely lost without, I held the top of the cake and made a sawing motion and sliced the cake in half. I spread a little of the icing on the thin cake board and placed the bottom layer onto it. I spread the icing the icing on top with a large palette knife and placed the second half on top. I covered the rest of the cake with a thin-ish layer of the icing.

 

Once the fondant was kneaded and rolled out I used the rolling pin to place the icing on top of the cake and smoothed it out.

 

I traced out the cake base for the top layer, I also did this for the 23cm cake too, you’ll see why later. I made the cream cheese icing by creaming butter and icing sugar and gradually stirring in the cream cheese, I left it in the fridge for about 30 mins to firm up. Using cake cutter I sliced the cake into three layers, phew, and left them on the parchment paper.

 

I spread a little of the icing onto the cake base and then placed the bottom layer onto it, I spread this with icing and continued this layering of icing to the top, finishing with covering the cake with a layer of the cream cheese icing.

 

I covered the cake with the rolled out fondant and smoothed it out, wrapped it with the ribbon and left it to set with the rest of the cakes.

 

Later that afternoon I began dowelling the cakes using the plastic rods I’d ordered online, I ordered the cake boxes and dowels through Brennans cookshop website, super fast delivery too. Using the traced out parchment paper I was able to place this on top of the cakes to gauge where to put the dowels. I used 6 dowels in the bottom and middle cake. I placed a dowel in the middle, marked where it met with the icing, and with my dad’s help, used a knife and a coincidentally perfect bread board to cut the dowels. You only need to cut them a little and then they should snap cleanly, such a satisfying sound too. I placed the rest of the dowels into the cakes and slid the cakes into their boxes all ready for the next day. All I needed for the next day was the cake lifter, cake smoother, buttercream, leftover ribbon and scissors.

Assembling the cake

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The Wedding Day had arrived and armed with the cakes and a good friend the cake was ready for it’s big debut, haha.

Once we were at the hotel we were guided to the beautiful ballroom where the stand, a box of the bunches of flowers and the cake toppers were laid out on a table, so handy. My friend Kate became a professional photographer and snapped away while I assembled the cake. I placed the base onto the cake stand with help from one of the hotel staff and smoothed it out a little. Next I spread a little of that delicious Betty Crocker buttercream onto the tops of the dowels and using the cake lifter I carefully placed the middle cake on top of the base and I repeated this process for the next cake and then fixed the ribbons in place.

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Kate and I had a little fun then with the flowers, placing them in different ways but we decided to stick with the cascade of flowers, thank you Kate. There were two ‘love’ toppers, one was plain silver and the second was glitzy silver, it was no contest really, the glitz won of course.

Lights, camera, action

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Well the cake didn’t topple over in the end, thankfully, haha. The fairy lights and the flowers really set it off and the ribbon went perfectly with the flowers. It was a lovely day and of course I had to taste a slice of each cake after eating so much delicious food and a serious amount of dancing too, yummy 🙂

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